State Assembly District 50, meet your new female District Leader — public safety expert and community justice leader Dana Rachlin.
Rachlin’s appointment fills the vacancy left after female District Leader Kristina Naplatarski announced her departure from the position in April, in order to pursue a different opportunity in public service. Naplatarski was elected in 2020 and ousted long-serving incumbent Linda Minucci.
A district leader is a volunteer position affiliated with party leadership.
“Traditionally, their duties include voting for party leadership, choosing poll workers, and nominating judges,” says a helpful explainer from THE CITY. Typically, there is a male leader and a female leader. AD-50’s current male leader is Emile Bazile.
“I don’t think of myself as being traditional in any sense of either politics or activism or anything. I really kind of created my own lane in a lot of ways, and I’m super open and inclusive,” Rachlin told Greenpointers over the phone. “I want to use this position and platform to engage people that are not part of the process traditionally, not part of the party traditionally, and I want to use this platform to share information, ideas, and needs, in maybe ways that traditionally have not been done in the past.”
Rachlin also hopes to improve the process of choosing judges. During the 2020 primaries, with her organization We Build the Block, she helped bring mayoral candidates to various neighborhoods so that they could better interact with impacted communities, and she wants to recreate the same process for judicial candidates.
“I think it’s really important that it goes far beyond me and my experience to go beyond saying ‘Oh yeah, this seems like a good person. We had coffee together, and it was nice.’ Am I the best person? Am I closest to the problem?” Rachlin continued. “I think that the answer is to go to the people of AD-50, the people who are impacted on either side of the justice system, and have them interface with judicial candidates and have them help direct questions and elevate challenges or policy proposals and see where people stand. The goal is essentially to build that bridge that connects impacted individuals of AD-50 with these candidates.”